Idaho Becomes Second State to Reject Real ID, ACLU Applauds Move, Urges Other States to Follow Suit

March 8, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded Idaho for becoming the second state in the nation to reject participation in the Real ID Act. That law, enacted in 2005, lays the foundation for a national identity card.

"Idaho and Maine are just the beginnings of the pending tidal wave of rebellion against Real ID," said Charlie Mitchell, Director of the ACLU State Legislative Department. "Across the nation, local lawmakers from both parties are rejecting the federal government’s demand to undermine their constituents’ privacy and civil liberties with a massive unfunded mandate. Congress must revisit the Real ID Act and fix this real mess."

On a vote of 19 to 14, the State Senate today approved House Joint Memorial 3. The State House of Representatives had approved the bill unanimously on February 20. While the bill does not require the signature of Idaho Governor Butch Otter, he has also been a vocal critic of the Real ID Act.

The bill states in part that Idaho, "shall enact no legislation nor authorize an appropriation to implement the provisions of the Real ID Act in Idaho, unless such appropriation is used exclusively for the purpose of undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the costs of implementing the Real ID Act or to mount a constitutional challenge to the act by the state Attorney General."

Nationwide, there is a growing rebellion against Real ID within the states. In January, the Maine legislature passed a resolution rejecting participation in the ID scheme, and similar legislation has been passed by one chamber in the legislatures of Arizona, Georgia, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. Bills rejecting Real ID have also been introduced in Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and West Virginia, with more expected in the coming weeks.

"Idahoans have long stood up for privacy and we applaud the state legislature for standing for our fundamental rights," said Jack Van Valkenburgh, Executive Director of the ACLU of Idaho. "In particular, we applaud State Representatives Phil Hart and Liz Chavez and State Senators Russ Fulcher and Mike Jorgenson for taking the lead on this issue. We are proud to join Maine in protecting privacy, and urge other states to follow our example."

An ACLU scorecard regarding the draft Real ID regulations is available at:  www.realnightmare.org/resources/106

More information about Real ID is available at: www.RealNightmare.org

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